LOUISVILLE — Having faced the Chatfield Chargers three times in the offseason, Monach head coach Stewart Brewer and Monarch Coyotes boys basketball team knew they had to handle the fast-pace pressure they were up against.
The bench came through early, providing a lift for the Coyotes as they were dealing with foul trouble to lead 44-36 at the half. In the second half, however, the foul trouble caught up to Monarch. Chatfield made them pay in the second half, rallying to win 80-73 at Monarch High School.
"Chatfield has a really good program and plays really hard," Brewer said. "We played them three times this offseason in three close games, so we knew this one would be tough. We didn't do the little things tonight to win."
Looking to run on offense and play a full-court trap defense, the Chargers made it a goal to score before the Coyotes could set up their defense and then create turnovers for more run-outs. In the first half, Monarch held up to the challenge, getting back on defense the majority of the half and taking care of the basketball.
One detail that was coming up, however, was the fact that a number of starters were picking up fouls, forcing them to sit for long stretches. Joey Covington picked up three fouls in the first half and another one early on in the fourth, leaving him to sit for most of the first three quarters. Evan Alexander also sat with foul trouble.
"We have to do a better job of defensive positioning so that we don't pick up cheap fouls early," Brewer said.
Matteo Germain and Matthew Chen stepped up in the backcourt as the bench scored 16 points in the first half. Chen hit a 3-point shot after Chatfield tied it at 36 late in the quarter, Germain knocked in a pair of free throws and starting big man Jack Ramsey hit a 3-pointer to end the first half on an 8-0 run to keep Monarch in front.
Ethan Henderson added to the bench production in the second half to help the Coyotes stay in front.
"We have a very deep team," Brewer said. "We can go 10 or 11 deep if we need to."
While the bench kept Monarch in front early, Chatfield would take advantage of the foul situation later in the game. A spark from Ethan Johnson and Connor Vernon to end the third quarter saw the Chargers take a 57-55 lead into the fourth. Getting into the bonus for most of the final quarter, Chatfield hit multiple free throws to stay in front and to ice the game late while Alexander, Covington and Chen all fouled out. The Chargers shot 86 percent from the line.
Brewer was not happy with some of the fouls his team picked up throughout the night.
"It's tough to handle pressure, go out there and play to the best of your abilities when two of your starting guards foul out, and then your secondary ball handler fouls out too," Brewer said. "There were some questionable calls out there."
The Coyotes dropped to 2-2 with the loss while Chatfield evened its record at 3-3. For Brewer and his team, there will be no time to sulk as they return to their home floor Friday night to face the Westminster Wolves (0-2).
"You hope this doesn't linger with the guys," Brewer said. "It's always good to get back in the swing of things and play another game right away."
Chatfield 80, Monarch 73
At Monarch HIgh School
Luke Carlson 6 8-8 21, Ethan Johnson 6 0-3 14, Connor Vernon 3 6-6 12, Christian Holmes 2 4-4 9, Ethan Goroski 3 2-2 8, Nate Jacobson 3 0-0 6, Dylan Carter 1 3-3 6, Jacob Chavoustie 1 0-0 2.
Jack Ramsey 6 4-5 17, Joey Covington 5 1-3 12, John Grigsby 4 1-3 12, Evan Alexander 3 2-2 10, Matthew Chen 3 1-2 8, Matteo Germain 2 2-4 6, Ethan Henderson 2 0-0 5, Adams Cadichon 1 0-0 2.
Score by quarters:Chatfield (3-3)19172123—80Monarch (2-229151118—73
3-point field goals — Chatfield (5): Johnson 2, Holmes, Carter, Carlson. Monarch (10): Grigsby 3, Covington 2, Alexander 2, Chen, Henderson, Ramsey. Fouled out — Alexander, Covington, Chen.